Though not always so, football and money are now inextricably linked. In 2014, Britain’s 20 top clubs spent more than £950 million on transfers, Wayne Rooney now earns £300,000 a week and even the average Premier League player now gets paid a yearly salary of £1.6 million.
That’s why it is almost unsurprising that the new Premier League TV rights deal, set to be announced today, is expected to be worth £4.4 billion for the three years from 2016 to 2019.
It represents something of a trend – up £1.4 billion or 45 per cent from the 2014-16 contract of £3 billion. That figure was itself up around £1.25 billion on the 2011-13 deal.
The BBC have already confirmed the retention of rights to the Match of the Day highlights package for £204 million, leaving rivals BT and Sky to fight over the live match packages – so it couldn’t be claimed that all that money would otherwise be spent on more worth public goals.
But if you were to repurpose that £4.4 billion, keeping it away from the pockets of agents and players and clubs – of whom only Chelsea are committed to paying staff the living wage – here’s what you might be able to afford.
Based on the entry-level pay of a graduate nurse of £21,388
Based on Oxfordshire County Council’s estimate that it costs £200,000 to run a library for a year, excluding management and consultancy costs
957 The Godfathers
Based on the estimated production budget of The Godfather of $7m, or £4.59m
Based on Government figures saying that the minimum starting salary for a graduate teacher is £22,023
Based on the RRP of £8.99 for Richard Flanagan’s Man Booker-winner The Narrow Road to the Deep North (paperback)
258m actual footballs
Based on the price of the perfectly serviceable high vis yellow Nike Strike matchball (£17)
Based on the average house price of £272,000, according to the ONS’s Sept 2014 figures
64.1m holidays to Gibraltar